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Spain vs Italy Stats Pack, Bet Builder Tips and Predictions  

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The second UEFA Nations League semi-final sees Group B and C winners Spain and Italy face off for a place in the final.  

Spain’s route to the semi-final was tricky but an undefeated June left them in a decent position heading into September. Their only defeat in the group came at home against Switzerland before they went on to secure top spot ahead of nearby Portugal.  

Italy had something of a group of death, drawing Germany, England and Hungary. June didn’t go too well, picking up five points from four matches, including a 5-2 loss against Germany. However, clean sheets against England and Hungary relegated the former and took top spot away from the latter.  

The Nations League has been one of UEFA’s better inventions and international football often brings up good value, something our stats pack guide and written guidance will help you exploit.

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De La Fuente’s first big selection as Spain boss 

Luis De La Fuente was a bold call for Spain but he has a chance to start proving doubters wrong here. He has looked towards Alvaro Morata and Rodri as new leaders to date with Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba and Dani Carvajal to support from deep. Unai Simon should return in net having missed the March qualifiers while Gavi and Dani Olmo came out of the Scotland debacle unscathed having been rested.  

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Mancini to rely on tried and trusted 

Despite having a tendency to chop and change at club level, Mancini has found a relatively settled side with Italy. He is helped enormously by having Gianluigi Donnarumma available in goal and a top-class midfield of Marco Verratti, Jorginho and Nicola Barella. Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini is a key member of the attack while Barella’s club team-mate and fellow Champions League finalist Francesco Acerbi leads the defence.  

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Spain defence key to their progression 

It’s worth noting that the statistics taken below come from Luis Enrique’s reign as they qualified for the UEFA Nations League semi-finals. Their game was about dominating the ball and ensuring they were defensively sound should an attack break down, something they managed well despite not having a consistent defence, conceding shy of one goal per game. They were also strong when it came to drawing cards from their opponents – that hasn’t changed with Norway and Scotland both receiving two or more in De La Fuente’s first games in charge.  

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Italy rode their luck defensively 

To say Italy didn’t deserve their place at the top would be incorrect – they showed more desire and confidence than their group rivals. However, they definitely overachieved against their expected numbers, their experienced backline and quality goalkeeper doing a lot of work to keep those clean sheets. In typical Italian fashion, they were able to draw cards out of their opposition – nearly two per game.  

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Dani Olmo key to Spain’s attack 

Dani Olmo didn’t take long to establish himself in the Spain starting XI and his star continues to grow. The attacker had a relatively quiet Nations League but stepped up at the World Cup, having two or more shots and a shot on target in all four matches. He also had a shot on target in the 3-0 win against Norway. Alvaro Morata has been hit and miss throughout his career but had four shots and three on target in the pivotal League A fixture with Portugal.  

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Dimarco the surprise hitter for Italy 

The expectation isn’t often on the left-back to have a pop at goal but Federico Dimarco plays as a wing-back for Internazionale and gets forwards to good effect in an Italy shirt, having four shots and two shots on target in their pivotal game against Hungary. Lorenzo Pellegrini plays ahead of him and managed shots on target in two of his three Nations League appearances.  

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Morata the goal getter for Spain 

Even at their pomp, Spain never seemed to have a striker that perfectly suited what they were trying to do, so it’s credit to Alvaro Morata that he has been able to stick around so long despite a patchy club career. He has a record of a goal around every two matches for Spain and scored in all three of their World Cup group stage matches. Dani Olmo is some way off that but does have six goals in 29 appearances, a respectable record.  

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Retegui hoping to become the main guy 

Mateo Retegui came from seemingly nowhere to throw himself into Italian contention, the Boca Juniors forward was an Argentinian youth international but he made his international debut from the start against England and scored before following up with a goal against Malta. Consistent goalscorers have been hard to find for Italy so Nicolo Barella could be looked towards – he has eight in 43 international appearances.  

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Gavi pressing from the front for Spain 

Within Luis Enrique’s Spain, Gavi was a young man trusted with a big responsibility to not only dominate the ball but to do the ugly stuff and that shows with his numbers. He continued that in his first start under De La Fuente, committing a foul against Norway. Rodri is another player not afraid to tug a player if necessary and he committed two and one fouls in his two March international starts.  

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Nimble midfield to provoke Spain’s sinners

It’s notable that two midfielders are involved in plenty of the kicking for Spain because Italy draw plenty of fouls in midfield. Jorginho is the man that dictates play at the base of their midfield and was fouled over three times per game during their Nations League group while Nicolo Barella was fouled just over twice. Lorenzo Pellegrini is a player to keep an eye on too during his battle with Dani Carvajal.  

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Spain vs Italy Key Matchups  

Rodri vs Nicolo Barella  

Gavi vs Jorginho 

Dani Carvajal vs Lorenzo Pellegrini 


Pellegrini dishes out what he takes 

As you’d anticipate for a player that has made himself key for Jose Mourinho, Lorenzo Pellegrini isn’t afraid to get physical – he has committed close to a foul per 90 minutes in the league this season too. Francesco Acerbi committed a foul in three of his four Nations League starts, in Inter’s Champions League final and semi-final second leg.  

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Spain’s agile attack a lot to handle

Acerbi will find himself up against an attack that draws a lot of fouls from its opponents, Gavi, Alvaro Morata and Dani Olmo all averaging over 3.4 fouls per 90 minutes during the Nations League. It tallies up for Gavi, who was fouled 133 times in 61 matches in all competitions this season while Olmo was fouled 65 times in 40 appearances and Morata 81 in 55.  

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Spain vs Italy Key Matchups 

Lorenzo Pellegrini vs Dani Carvajal 

Giovanni Di Lorenzo vs Gavi 

Francesco Acerbi vs Alvaro Morata 


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Spain vs Italy

Calendar 15th June
Football icon kick off 19:45
Football icon Dani Carvajal 1+ fouls
Football icon Martin Zubimendi 1+ fouls
Football icon Lorenzo Pellegrino 1+ fouls
Football icon Jorginho 1+ fouls
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